With Data to Policy (D2P) programs active in 10 Data for Health countries in Africa, sustainably implementing these programs requires a strong pool of local facilitators to draw on. In addition, there has been growing demand from academic institutions to learn about the D2P approach and methods so that data-driven policy development can be taught to students of public health. To address this need, the Data Impact Program partnered with the Association of Schools of Public Health in Africa to organize a regional Data to Policy Train-the-Trainers (TTT), held in Kigali, Rwanda, August 21-25, 2023. The TTT is a focused training to increase the cadre of locally-trained mentors in countries to ensure sustainability and promote country ownership of the program.
The 12 participants represented 11 countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) in Africa and included academics with a range of expertise, from epidemiology to health promotion as well as several health economists, and also included French and Portuguese speakers. Engagement during the workshop was extremely high, with participants expressing strong interest in using the D2P materials in their own teaching, in their research-policy collaborations with governments, and in getting involved in D2P through the Data Impact Program.
Following the workshop, several of the participants have already followed up on plans to use the D2P materials, including sharing materials with health institutes, enrolling team members in the online D2P modules, and engaging with facilitators for future D2Ps in country.